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Blunt spams millions with email for new single

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It makes a change from Nigerian princes and virility pills, but millions of people were still disgruntled to be spammed by singer-songwriter James Blunt. He sent out the messages from his personal email address inviting recipients to take a listen to his comeback single.

Blunt, or at least Blunt's record company software, tried to personalise the message, headed "I'd like you to be the first to hear my new single". The email linked to the single, 'Bonfire Heart', as well as a message: "So, just for you, here's the first single from my new album...!" The email also explained that the new track, out on 21 October, was "about love, life, fear and hope . . . and more than anything, you . . . and me."

Blunt quickly tweeted an apology, claiming that it was a mistake: "Oops... Just emailed the whole of the UK by mistake! Ha". It seems far more believable that it was a cynical marketing play that worked, with Blunt trending on Twitter and the song receiving more than 30,000 plays. Warner Music claimed the email was a "clerical error" accidentally sent to addresses on the mailing lists of other artists on the label. The lesson seems clear: never give a record company your email address.

Blunt probably needs all the desperate marketing tactics he can muster. His supposed retirement from the music business was a cause for widespread celebration and his return to recording has dismayed many.

One Twitter user, Mikey Guitar, seemed to speak for thousands when he tweeted: "If you receive an email with a link to the new James Blunt single, don't click on it. It's a link to the new James Blunt single!"

Others linked the spam to David Cameron's crusade against internet porn. One outraged recipient tweeted: "If we want porn we have to opt IN, but if we don't want James Blunt we have to opt OUT?”

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